Buds and Blossoms

Our peonies are blooming! Oh, what a glorious sight! The only sad part about these beauties, is that they have little to no fragrance. But as one friend said, what they lack in fragrance, they certainly make up for in their stunning color.

These peonies reminded me how we sometimes expect things to be a certain way because of their outward appearance. When we purchased these bulbs years ago, we probably would have passed them by had we known this variety was missing the signature fragrance we have come to love. But if we passed them by, we would have missed these gigantic showy blooms greeting us in May. Now they are a showpiece in our garden, and I look forward to them every year.

I took a walk around the yard after church today, and just had to take a few more photos of some of the flowers in bloom. Our daughter planted foxglove under our mailbox and beneath the cherry tree. They are all in full bloom now, as are the yellow Knock Out roses. We weren’t sure they would survive their first winter, but they came back stronger than ever and are bursting with roses!

All these gorgeous flowers come as a reward for enduring the long, cold winter. I’m certain springtime blossoms are appreciated even more by those living in the snow belt states!

It’s hard to believe a week ago we were struggling to hit 50 degrees and even turned our heat back on at night. It’s currently 88 degrees today in Ashburn, VA, with increasing humidity. You would think after living here for over 20 years we would be accustomed to this leap into summertime temperatures each spring. But I’ll sure take this over the damp, rainy days of April!

Wherever you are, and whatever your weather may be, I hope you are enjoying a lovely spring day.

Have a blessed week ahead!

Sunshine and Songbirds

Happy, rainy Sunday!

I’ve enjoyed both restful and productive days for the past two weeks while I took a short break from writing. Sometimes I need to force myself to take time out for rest, and I’m always glad when I do.

We have so many projects going on at home, so there is always something to plant, paint, repair or update. That said, I’m happy to report that we have finished flooring and painting one of our guest bedrooms. (Only four more rooms to go!)

My husband is beginning to wonder what we were thinking when we undertook this project. It’s clearly going to last many months at the current pace, but the results are amazing. I am truly blessed to have a spouse who is so talented!

Green and Growing

Our garden is planted and already full of cucumber, zucchini and tomato blossoms. We’ve been enjoying fresh spinach and fennel fronds in our salads since last week. A longer and earlier growing season is certainly one of the advantages to living in the mid-Atlantic region.

And although I am rapidly tiring of the rain, it has helped wash away some of the pollen. Everything is green and lush and vibrant! It’s also a peaceful sound on the roof at night.

A (Bird)Song in My Heart

I was delighted to discover that we have a pair of American Goldfinches in our neighborhood.  They visit our thistle feeder daily. The male is a striking bright yellow color, especially against the backdrop of spring greenery. Their song is lovely too. During the long winter months, I miss hearing the songbirds more than anything. (Click this link to hear the American Goldfinch’s song!)

This is a photo of our Crimson Honeysuckle taken earlier today. It’s drenched, but ready to welcome our hummingbirds when they arrive. I had expected them by now, and it’s possible that they are already here. They are so tiny and quick that I often miss them at our feeder. You need to stand very still and watch the feeder for several minutes at a time. It takes patience, but seeing them flitting and darting and hovering mid-air makes it worth the wait. They are truly amazing little birds!

Tomorrow’s forecast is looking sunny. That’s always welcome news to start my Monday.

May your week ahead will be filled with sunny skies and cheerful birdsongs to fill your heart with joy!